The Little Ant with the Criminal Mind
A Story about Fitting In
(10/15 @ 10/13) The little ant shuddered a bit when he saw those grim reminders. He felt like he was always looking over his shoulder, half expecting that the other ants would notice that he was unable to read the air, to read the olfactory cocktail of pheromones which, as he understood things, was constantly wafting through the tunnels of the colony and along the trails that the foragers and other ants followed outside. He felt like he couldn’t read theses at all sometimes, or at least they didn’t evoke in him the kinds of gut emotional responses that they seemed to evoke in this fellow ants. He had seen that look, that bewildered desperate “don’t-you-people-get-it?!” look on the face of an ant who had suddenly lost the picture. The first thing they usually did was to drop whatever it was they were carrying with a kind of how-did-this-get-here look and then began to slowly look about. Then they began to look out to their fellow ants.
(10/15 @ 10/12) The any who loses the picture would almost immediately stop, thus becoming an obstacle for the surrounding ants, and then proceed to drop whatever it was they were carrying, causing a further obstacle. They would then look around, just blankly at first, and then with an increasingly desperately pleading look at the faces of their fellow ants, as if to say, “what am I supposed to be doing?” and “what am I supposed to be feeling about all of this?” Sometimes the ant just stopped and stared at the ground or off into the distance, blankly, barely moving but gently swaying, and these rare ones would last the longest, or maybe – maybe – even get the picture again and carry on in some state or another.
Then the guard ants would come through and squirt joy juice into everyone’s faces. He didn’t know if it was to make everybody forget or just feel differently about what had just happened or to forget it altogether.
Other times the ant would run off wildly or begin attacking other surrounding ants.